The Babel fish is small, yellow, leechlike, and probably the oddest thing in the Universe. It feeds on brainwave energy received not from its own carrier but from those around it. It absorbs all unconscious mental frequencies from this brainwave energy to nourish itself with. It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix formed by combining the conscious thought frequencies with nerve signals picked up from the speech centers of the brain which has supplied them. The practical upshot of all this is that if you stick a Babel fish in your ear you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language. The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish. Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the NON-existence of God. (See "Fish on Fridays?".)
The Newfoundland offshore babel fishery
The Babel Fish Conspiracy was established on April 1, 1066 under the command of the Director of Newfie Intelligence, Ms. Rosetta Stone, in the wake of an unusually awkward confrontation with the French forces led by the notorious admiral St. Pierre de Miquelon.
The Newfies were deep in prayer to their patron saint, St. John's of the Most Holy People Who Named Their Capital After An Ambulance when they were most rudely interrupted by a cry of «poisson d'Avril» and a fish crudely hurled upon the Newfie flagship HMS Receivership by their French tormenters.
Nothing unusual for this lot (at least after a bottle or three of Screech), except something seemed amiss.
The «poisson d'Avril» had inexplicably identified itself "I'm the April Fish!", a mindless-enough phrase to be expected from what could well prove to be the precursor of the Avril Lavigne, but no, it had done so in plain English.
What in the name of Bill 101 was going on?
April Fish tried to slip away, but the Newfies promptly lowered the nets and began to fish until they had caught more of these most strange creatures.
The results were utterly disastrous. The various Babel Fish, effectively removing all barriers to communication between different nations, would cause more and bloodier wars than anything else in history.
The Newfoundland government, forced to attempt to deny all knowledge of the incident, launched a cover-up so massive and so expensive that it was to bankrupt the tiny Dominion. Nonetheless, with the continuing rapid decline in other fisheries preventing Newfies from putting their faith in cod to assure Newfoundland's economic future, some have resumed the distribution of Babel fish in sheer economic desperation.
The market for their catch is evidently plentiful. Newfoundland is landlocked between the Scottish-speaking laddies of New Scotland (Cape Breton, on the Banks of Nova Scotia) and the joual-speaking Québécois of Blanc Sablon (doubly impossible to understand with their mouths full of sand).
This has made the Fishermen's Union of Seldom Come By, Fogo, Newfoundland (F.U. for short) the mightiest economic powerhouse in the entire British Empire, to the horror of many.
This wealth has come at an unspeakable cost, often considered to be the work of the Devil himself.
Fish on Fridays?
- "I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."
- "But," says Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway. It proves that you exist, and so therefore, you don't. QED."
- "Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and God promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.
- "That was easy," says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white, getting killed at the next zebra crossing. - Douglas Adams
This has greatly offended the key religious voices of the Temple of St John's of the Blessed Ambulance and has caused the Newfoundland babel fisheries industry to be denounced vociferously from the twin pulpits of VOAR and VOWR atop Signal Hill.
Some even demand that Jesus himself return to the fisheries to save the immortal sole of Newfoundland from the Devil... no easy task now that Jesus walking on water involves dealing with those pesky holes in his feet.
Nonetheless, it appears far too late for Newfoundlanders to return to their traditional way of life, the life they knew before the Babel Fish revolutionised the Newfie fishery and turned the lives of the faithful believers upon The Rock upside-down.